How to overcome your fears

Fear lives in the mind. So, how do we get it out of our heads? Follow in the footsteps of these speakers who have faced some of their deepest fears with strength and grace.

  1. 15:31
    Jia Jiang What I learned from 100 days of rejection

    Jia Jiang adventures boldly into a territory so many of us fear: rejection. By seeking out rejection for 100 days — from asking a stranger to borrow $100 to requesting a "burger refill" at a restaurant — Jiang desensitized himself to the pain and shame that rejection often brings and, in the process, discovered that simply asking for what you want can open up possibilities where you expect to find dead ends.

  2. 11:30
    Karen Thompson Walker What fear can teach us

    Imagine you're a shipwrecked sailor adrift in the enormous Pacific. You can choose one of three directions and save yourself and your shipmates — but each choice comes with a fearful consequence too. How do you choose? In telling the story of the whaleship Essex, novelist Karen Thompson Walker shows how fear propels imagination, as it forces us to imagine the possible futures and how to cope with them.

  3. 16:25
    Tim Ferriss Smash fear, learn anything

    From the EG conference: Productivity guru Tim Ferriss' fun, encouraging anecdotes show how one simple question — "What's the worst that could happen?" — is all you need to learn to do anything.

  4. 14:09
    Ione Wells How we talk about sexual assault online

    We need a more considered approach to using social media for social justice, says writer and activist Ione Wells. After she was the victim of an assault in London, Wells published a letter to her attacker in a student newspaper that went viral and sparked the #NotGuilty campaign against sexual violence and victim-blaming. In this moving talk, she describes how sharing her personal story gave hope to others and delivers a powerful message against the culture of online shaming.

  5. 12:58
    Megan Washington Why I live in mortal dread of public speaking

    Megan Washington is one of Australia's premier singer/songwriters. And, since childhood, she has had a stutter. In this bold and personal talk, she reveals how she copes with this speech impediment—from avoiding the letter combination “st” to tricking her brain by changing her words at the last minute to, yes, singing the things she has to say rather than speaking them.

  6. 8:38
    Ameera Harouda Why I put myself in danger to tell the stories of Gaza

    When Ameera Harouda hears the sounds of bombs or shells, she heads straight towards them. "I want to be there first because these stories should be told," says Gaza's first female "fixer," a role that allows her to guide journalists into chaotic, war zone scenarios in her home country, which she still loves despite its terrible situation. Find out what motivates Harouda to give a voice to Gaza's human suffering in this unforgettable talk.

  7. 18:22
    Chris Hadfield What I learned from going blind in space

    There's an astronaut saying: In space, “there is no problem so bad that you can’t make it worse.” So how do you deal with the complexity, the sheer pressure, of dealing with dangerous and scary situations? Retired colonel Chris Hadfield paints a vivid portrait of how to be prepared for the worst in space (and life) — and it starts with walking into a spider’s web. Watch for a special space-y performance.

  8. 10:48
    Safwat Saleem Why I keep speaking up, even when people mock my accent

    Artist Safwat Saleem grew up with a stutter — but as an independent animator, he decided to do his own voiceovers to give life to his characters. When YouTube commenters started mocking his Pakistani accent, it crushed him, and his voice began to leave his work. Hear how this TED Fellow reclaimed his voice and confidence in this charming, thoughtful talk.

  9. 5:33
    Matthew O'Reilly “Am I dying?” The honest answer.

    Matthew O’Reilly is a veteran emergency medical technician on Long Island, New York. In this talk, O’Reilly describes what happens next when a gravely hurt patient asks him: “Am I going to die?”